When a news story captivates America, sooner or later you’ll see famed celebrity attorney Gloria Allred turn up.
So it’s no surprise that Allred stood by the side of Rudy Eugene’s girlfriend, the Miami man who has been making headlines after he was killed chewing the face and brains of a homeless drifter while high on LSD.
Yovonka Bryant said Eugene never showed any signs of violence during their four-month relationship and said that the two often read the Bible and the Quran together.
Bryant, who was questioned by police after the attack but is not under investigation, described Eugene as a Christian who wanted to know more about the Muslim faith.
“He would never leave without it, his Bible, and his Quran was always by his side," she said. "He was just figuring out the Quran. He just really picked up the Quran and was trying to actually get into it as he was into the Bible.”
Bryant last heard from her boyfriend in a text message the day before the May 26 attack alongside a busy Miami highway, but she declined to elaborate on what the message said.
Bryant told a room full of reporters that there were no warning signs that anything was wrong with Eugene. “I felt safe with Rudy,” she said. “He was happy, in a good mood.”
Bryant, a single mother of three, said she never saw Eugene drink and only once saw him smoke marijuana at a party.
Court records show Eugene had several arrests on marijuana-related charges. His brother has said Eugene sometimes smoked marijuana but didn’t drink much or use hard drugs.
Bryant, a billing specialist for a certified public accountant, hired celebrity attorney Allred to arrange a news conference.
“She thinks it is important that the public know the truth about Rudy Eugene and her relationship with him,” Allred said.
Police are still investigating what led Eugene to attack Ronald Poppo, a 65-year-old homeless man who remains hospitalized. Surveillance video from the nearby Miami Herald building shows Eugene, stripping Poppo, and pummeling him before appearing to hunch over and lie on top of him. The police officer who shot Eugene to death said he growled at the officer when he told him to stop.
Eugene’s autopsy results are pending, but Bryant believes that someone may have slipped Eugene a drug, but she did not say why she thought that.